Art Education, B.A.

Program Overview

Are you passionate about the arts and their many benefits to individuals and societies? Do you have a desire to unlock students' creative potential? If so, consider a degree in art education.

PLNU is one of a select number of universities in California that has an art education program accredited by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). The Bachelor of Arts in Art Education program will prepare you to enter a credentialed program to teach visual arts in K-12 classrooms. Whether you decide to pursue your credential in the PLNU School of Education or finish your licensing elsewhere, the uncompromising foundational education you’ll receive in this warm, close-knit community will ensure you’re ready to take the next step to teach art.

You will learn firsthand how to become a secondary art teacher from PLNU’s committed art professors, while drawing on your strengths and insights as an emerging artist. Our small class sizes and proximity to local museums and galleries will make your education both collaborative and experiential. Finally, the learning will continue with student teaching experiences in charter and traditional classrooms through our school partnerships with at-risk students.


  • Visual Art
  • Graphic Design
Student draws a portrait.

The Mystery and Power of the Creative Arts

When we create, and actively observe our neighbor's creative work, we are able to uncover the "hidden mysteries" of creation.

Course List

For information about the courses required for the Art Education, B.A. program, view the PLNU Catalog. 

Course Information

Major Map

Start Application

Are you ready to take the next step to begin your PLNU journey? Whether you’re a high school senior, college transfer student, or international student, find out what we’re looking for in our applicants and how you can apply.

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If you are considering transferring to PLNU to join our Art Education program, check out our community college articulation agreement to see how your classes will transfer. 

To view an example of the major requirements for an Art Education, B.A., check out our advising guide

Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Career Opportunities

The versatile set of skills you’ll develop by pursuing a degree in art education from PLNU extends beyond the traditional classroom. PLNU art education majors are passionate, intelligent, and artistically talented individuals who are dedicated to educating the future about the importance and intricacies of art. 

By graduating with a Bachelors of Arts in Art Education from PLNU, you will be prepared to embrace any new employment or volunteer opportunities that are presented to you.

A Bachelor of Arts in Art Education can lead to a variety of careers:

  • Art education in public, private, or charter schools
  • Art education in museums
  • Art education and for-profit business
  • Art education and nonprofit business
  • Art therapy
  • Professional museum and gallery exhibition

What can you do with an art education degree?

Many PLNU art education alumni have held various positions in museums, businesses, therapy centers, and nonprofit organizations, as well as public, private, and charter schools. 

The following are examples of positions that PLNU art education alumni currently hold:

Art and Creative Directors 

2020 Median annual salary $97,270

Art and creative directors’ job is to work alongside a copywriter to come up with ideas and concepts that will benefit the company. Art and creative directors complete sketches and storyboards to present to clients and team members to help them visualize marketing ideas. To be an art and creative director, you must understand and stay up-to-date with marketing initiatives and be aware of the company's target audience. You also must be able to effectively communicate with the rest of the creative team across different types of media. 

What it takes to be an art and creative director: 

  • Creativity
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills
  • Time management skills

Graphic Designers 

2020 Median annual salary $53,380

Graphic designers' job is to create artistic materials for print and digital copies. They must make sure their projects are high quality and completed on schedule. Graphic designers sometimes help come up with creative direction for their company and also help upper management develop brand guidelines. They must be able to work on multiple projects at a time, work with budget restrictions, and understand complex design specifications. Graphic designers often work with a wide range of media and graphic design software so they must be technologically adept and willing to learn as technology develops and improves. 

What it takes to be a graphic designer:

  • Creativity
  • Artistic abilities
  • Good communicator
  • Audience knowledge
  • Ability to embrace change

Elementary Art Teachers 

2020 Median annual salary $36,000

Elementary art teachers’ main responsibilities are to come up with and teach art-centric curriculum for students in elementary school. They create age-appropriate activities for their students and evaluate student performance and progress throughout the school year. They may meet with parents to discuss their child's progress if necessary.

What it takes to be an elementary art teacher: 

  • Dedication 
  • Creativity
  • Organization skills 
  • Enthusiasm 
  • Passion about advocating for the arts 

Alumni listed the following skills as the top strengths they acquired as an art education student at PLNU: 

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Photography
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Graphic design
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Adobe Photoshop

Shaping Future Generations of Artists:

The PLNU art education program cultivates passion, professionalism, and a dedication to artistry that will help graduates step toward their future with confidence and a desire to teach future generations about the importance and complexities of art. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education prepares you to be a kind, artistic, adventurous, and thoughtful individual who will thrive in any path you choose to take. 

Apply to PLNU today or get connected with one of our counselors for additional support and answers to any questions you may have.